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To Win You Have to Risk Losing

​If you live by the law of averages, that’s what you will be - average.


A fourth quarter comeback won’t happen if a team looks at the odds.  There are no medical miracles if the doctors or the patient play the odds. The miraculous. The improbable. The heroic. None of those happens if people always make decisions based on what is most likely to happen. 


If everyone played the odds, everyone would quit too early. What were the odds of Abraham Lincoln winning a presidential election after losing eight previous elections to other offices? What were the odds of the college kids of the 1980 United States Olympic Hockey team defeating the professional hockey players of the USSR?  If you played the odds on these two events, Lincoln would not have run, and those college hockey players would not have even played the game.


This may sound like a bit of a rah rah speech - because it is. The odds are not wrong, but they are not guaranteed either.  People who do great things, rarely accomplish those great things because everything was in their favor.  It is actually the opposite. They see that chance of failure, but they decide to move forward anyway.  I am not talking about reckless decisions, but I am talking about risky ones.  Decisions that other people may question.  Decisions that don’t seem to make sense on paper.  Decisions, that on average, will not turn out well.


But, if you live by the law of averages, that is what you will be - average. Look at the greatest inventions, the greatest medical breakthroughs, the greatest military victories, and the greatest sports victories. We remember the inventors, physicians, leaders and athletes who overcame the law of averages.  When you look at all these people two things shine through their decisions at the moment of testing:  Courage and Positivity.


Courage:  Acting despite perceived or actual risk.

Positivity:  Displaying a positive or “can do” attitude in all circumstances.


Was there a potential for failure? Yes. Had they or others failed before? Yes.

Were the circumstances they faced difficult? Yes.  Did they let that affect their attitude? No.


Courage and Positivity are habits that we develop with practice. We have to have the Courage to try again after we have failed. We have to have the Positivity to continue to look for new solutions to old problems.


Very few great things happen for people who make every decision based on the odds. These are the people who will rarely see results that are better than average. On the other hand, with Courage and Positivity, those same people give themselves a chance to do something remarkable - that beats the odds.



  • Who do you know that has the Courage and the Positivity to go against the odds?

  • When has playing the odds held you back?


Here is a quick assessment that will take you 5 minutes to figure it out. Nobody will ever see your results but you.


Warning: If you are not going to be honest with yourself this is a worthless assessment.

To take the assessment use the QR code above or go to

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